Lebanon: Fire Situation in Lebanon (IFFN No. 23 – December 2000)

Fire Situation in Lebanon

(IFFN No. 23 – December 2000, p. 87)


In Lebanon the term forest fire indicates all fires occurring in forests, wildlands, pasture land, and even in agricultural land. Most fire-prone forests are stands of Pinus pinea, Pinus brutia and Quercus spp. Wildfires occur both on private and government property.

The fire database in Lebanon was established in 1998. However, data are available for the last four years(Table 1.). It is often difficult to determine the causes of fires. It is known, however, that in addition to the traditional and well known causes, the war in Lebanon and all military actions sometimes cause forest fires.

 

Tab.1. Number of forest fires and area burned in Lebanon,1996 and 1999

Year

Number of fires

Area burned (ha)

1996

79

468.50

1997

127

437.12

1998

195

6 091.27

1999

188

1 521.04

 

The civil defence, which operates under the Ministry of Interior, is responsible for fire control. The Ministry of Agriculture is also establishing a fire protection unit. It operates a radio communication system for early warning, 26 vehicles for initial attack and four engines with a tank capacity of 7 500 litres. The Lebanese army has three functional Bambi buckets that were used for the first time in 2000.

To reduce forest fire risk, the Ministry of Agriculture directs people, NGO’s and municipalities to prune forest trees at least near roads to reduce “ladder fuels” and prevent crown fires.

The Ministry of Agriculture intends to build water reservoirs next to forests and lookout towers for fire detection.

 

Contact address:

Michel Bassil
Ministère de la Agriculture
Chiya-Beirut
LEBANON


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